Paris, Monday September 29th 2008, 15:31 - The Jules Verne ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle), which was designed and built by Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the European Space Agency ESA, has successfully completed its final manoeuvre. The ATV performed two de-orbiting manoeuvres and disintegrated in the upper layers of the atmosphere over the South Pacific, exactly as planned.
Airbus Defence and Space CEO François Auque commented on this successful manoeuvre: “The Jules Verne mission is a series of technical achievements greeted by the international community. From the launch of Ariane, through to the automatic docking procedure, the International Space Station ISS reboost, and the final undocking manoeuvre which heralded the end of the ATV’s mission, Airbus Defence and Space has been the industrial force behind all of these achievements. These successes have allowed Europe to play its full role on board the ISS, alongside its major partners from the rest of the world.”
“Jules Verne”: an opening for Europe to manned spaceflight
In François Auque’s opinion, “This mission is just the beginning. Europe now has to take the necessary decisions to prepare the future of space transport and man’s exploration of space, and thus to consolidate its own position as a leading global space power.”
Airbus Defence and Space is currently building on behalf of ESA the second automated transfer vehicle at its sites in France and Germany. The vehicle will be launched on board an Ariane 5 rocket in 2010.
Airbus Defence and Space has also presented the ATV Evolution study, in which the company has come up with two new proposals for the ATV. The first part of the study explores various options for carrying cargo back to Earth, while the second looks at how the ATV could be used to transport astronauts into space and bring them back safely.
The key dates and successes of the Jules Verne ATV: - Launched on 9 March, 2008 - Docked with the International Space Station on 3 April, 2008 - Reboost on 25 April, 19 June and 13 August, 2008 - Undocked on 5 September, 2008
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2007, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.5 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services. AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2007, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.
Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space France) Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Tel.: +44 (0) 1 438 77 3872
Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space Germany) Tel.: +49 (0) 7545 89123
Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space Spain) Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41